Twenty-nine award-winning ghost and horror stories fill these fear-inspiring pages. From mind-altering medical implants to skeletal dingoes and ghostly women at windows these stories from the Ghostly Stringybark Award, will transport you into a darker realm. Some will terrify, some will horrify and others will make you laugh out loud at the cleverness of the writing by these Australian and international short story writers.
They find her body just after sunrise, floating among the mangroves with mud crabs in her hair. I watch as they drag her through the water and lie her down on the dead leaves, their dirty hands touching her lovely skin. My toes curl when I see her face; white and bloated and almost unrecognisable.
“Jesus Christ!” Mark says, as he takes in the state of her body. “Has to be a dingo.”
“Been no bloody Dingos around here for years,” his dad, Roy replies.
— from "Dark Water" by Lauren Noelle Rice
Two girls in black dresses stood guard on the edge of the pool. Lydia stared. Twins, maybe four years old, they stood still, their faces pale and their lips blue.
It was their blue lips that disturbed her the most.
No. It was that their eyes were closed.
Oblivious to the girls Jack picked up the handkerchief and stood up. He can’t see them. She trembled.
Their eyelids flickered. They were going to open their eyes.
— from "The Unknown Wedding Dress" by Sabina Wills
I was conceived by the rock pool where the fish kiss the ripples and the rays of the sun warm the granite outcrop that surrounds it. The rock pool is where my mother bashed my father’s brains out. The blood dribbled down — drip drip drip into the rock pool. Swirling and mingling, becoming one with nature. My father wasn’t the first person to die there. Mrs Alice Kelly was killed there on her honeymoon. They found her husband in a pool of her blood, a broken wine bottle in his hand, but they never found her.
The locals call it Honeymoon Pool.
— from "The Rock Pool" by McEleney
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
I am a freelance writer and editor. I am father of two boys. For the last few years I have focussed my writing interest on chronicling women and men’s experience of childbirth and promoting better support for pregnant women and their partners. Recently, for a change of pace, I am writing two Australian history books. In 2014 I was elected Chair of the ACT Writers Centre. In 2010 I established the Stringybark Short Story Awards to promote the short story as a literary form.